The new Museum of Natural History moved from the 90-year old Ruthven Museum Building into a modern seven-story Biological Science Building designed by architects Ennead and SmithGroupJJR. The 300,000 square foot building also will be home to the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In addition to natural history exhibits incorporating a wide array of modern exhibit techniques, visitors will experience a state-of-the-art Digital Dome Theater with Planetarium, high-definition video and audio presentations. University faculty and students are playing significant roles in the conceptual development of the exhibits.
The planning, design, fabrication and installation of the new Museum exhibits is a joint venture of Lord Cultural Resources, Xibitz and Taylor Studios under the name of Great Plains Exhibit Development Joint Venture. This is the second prestigious project for the Joint Venture, having completed 33,000 square feet of new exhibits in 2014 for the State Museum of North Dakota.